- The head of Germany's national disease control agency
is calling for testing the country's sheep for possible variants of mad
cow disease, according to a newspaper report..
- Reinhard Kurth, head of the Robert Koch Institute, said
both cattle and sheep had been exposed to the same animal feed that could
have contained meat and bone meal, believed to be the main way that mad
cow disease spreads. He told the newspaper Welt am Sonntag: "There
is absolutely no basis to assume that sheep are immune to this disease."
- He said, however, that since 1963 in Germany there had
only been nine cases in sheep of scrapie, a centuries-old illness that
is similar to mad cow disease. Still, Kurth said the unknown number of
cases are "definitely very, very high." He said: "That means
that inspection is miserably bad."
- Mr Kurth also cautioned of the danger of blood donations
helping the spread of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of mad
cow disease that is believed to be contracted by eating infected beef.
- Germany recorded its first case of mad cow disease last
month and the numbers of infected cattle are growing. Other European countries
have started pulling German beef products off shelves and banning imports.
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